Chapter 17: Anchor

~Follows the events of the Handball game~

When they got home, they took turns in the shower and Gibbs disappeared into the small office at the back of the house where he paid bills. His desk at home was kept with the same military precision as that at the office. Always made Tony smile a little to see it. He was in the kitchen making himself a sandwich when Gibbs appeared in the doorway, a manilla folder in one hand and his glasses in the other. Tony put down the half-made sandwich and turned around. Gibbs admitting he needed his glasses for something was noteworthy.

"What's up?"

Gibbs said baldly, "I'm a bastard, Dinozzo, you know that right?"

Tony let his head fall with a melodramatic bounce. He straightened then nodded wearily, "Yeah...Gibbs...I know." He waited, though if this was going to be another instance of Jethro trying to break up with him because he was a bastard, then he was going to finish his goddamned sandwich. Tense now, he raised his eyebrows. Go on.

Gibbs put his glasses on and opened the folder. In it were three pieces of paper. Gibbs read, in turn, from each of them.

You never listened.

You guard your pain like it is the crown jewels. You won't let anyone in.

You won't let anyone help you.

You make decisions without consulting anyone else, like having a vasectomy.

That goddamned blank, all-knowing stare.

You love your job more than you love me

You are bossy and have to be in control all the time.

You can think of people other than yourself but don't usually bother.

You have no sense of humor. You smiled, on average, twice a month while we were married.

You proposed to me, but I feel like a trespasser in this house.

Didn't feel pain or if you did, didn't show it. Wouldn't share your feelings with me.

You love your job more than you love me.

You were emotionally unavailable and showed your boat more love than me.

I'm tired of having to live up to Shannon's memory.

You leave the toilet seat up on purpose. Petty.

That damn blank, know-it-all stare.

You use sex as a weapon.

You won't do anything you don't want.

You don't share yourself.

No one can live up to your standards.

You are impatient and grouchy and impossible to live with.

That blank stare. I hate that stare.

You love your job more than you love me.

You are such a fucking Marine.

Tony was frozen in place, listening to the litany of complaints from what had to be Gibbs' three wives. For the first time since he realized just how serious this was for him, Tony felt a little bit of relief. If that was all he was up against, he was golden. The bigger question was whether Gibbs could live with him. Tony reached over for the dishtowel, ostentatiously wiped his hands, and strolled casually over to Jethro, tossing the towel onto one of the chairs and plucking the papers and folder out of the other man's hands. The folder followed the towel, and after the folder, Gibbs' glasses, gently removed from his face, folded and placed on the table, before Tony crowded the man against the kitchen wall.

"I'm hungry, Jethro." he murmured against the older man's collarbone, Gibbs' head having fallen back to give him more skin to taste, to kiss. "You interrupted my lunch, least you can do is make it up to me."

Gibbs moaned and tried to talk, "Tony, listen—"

"Not to more of this, I won't. That's crap, Jethro." He spoke softly, sweetly, like he was quoting love poetry as his hand unbuttoned the other man's jeans, dove under the waistband to cup and roll his balls, squeeze and press at the base of his cock. "I'm not your ex-wives and when have I ever cared if you put the toilet seat down? Though if Abby complains I'll have to take you down." Knowing the other man liked it, he raised his head from sucking and worrying at Jethro's right nipple—T-shirt pushed up out of the way by his free hand—to press a hard kiss to Jethro's mouth, letting him feel the smile even as he drew the other man's tongue into his mouth, as he pressed harder, forcing their mouths wide and sloppy and hot, his hand moving faster and faster on the hot flesh between their bodies, until Gibbs' moaned helplessly.

"Tony, I can't...I don't want to come like this."

"Are you sure?" His hand moved faster and his mouth moved back to the hard points on Gibbs' chest. One long finger stretched behind Jethro's balls to tap-tap on the sensitive skin just before the puckered hole. Gibbs bucked, hard and moaned louder, his head dropping down onto Tony's shoulder. Tony's hand moved harder, faster, and Jethro's voice rose helplessly, "oh...fuuuuuuck, Tony. Tony." One hand had come up to clutch Tony by the back of the neck, the only anchor in the churning tide of arousal and hope. Jethro pulled himself tight against the other man as his hips ground just as hard against him. His free hand pushed Tony's shirt up without any clear intention; he was too far gone to pluck or stroke, he just needed it, needed to touch Tony. Jethro's mouth and nose sought the younger man's scent, lips pushing past cloth, nuzzling close, to find bare skin. And he sucked hard, blindly, the instinct of a human male, marking Tony, pulling an answering groan from him, and then Gibbs came, hard, in Tony's hand and over. The combined sensations of the wet heat of Jethro's release and Jethro's hand pushing and rubbing desperately at the outside of Tony's jeans meant that Tony came too, with nothing more than pressure and an unspoken pledge.

It was Jethro who started laughing first, but Tony found himself giggling almost uncontrollably-although he'd deny it, of course, cause DiNozzo's don't giggle—against Jethro's sweaty neck, hand still gripping tight against the man's neck. Jethro, for his part, was undone, gasping as he clutched Tony back, and if there was a hint of desperation, of emotional overload, of what would be tears if they were women, in all the hilarity, then he certainly wasn't going to mention it.

Finally, they came to rest against each other, neither able to stand without support, Jethro's pants gaping open but both equally in need of new jeans. Jethro cleared his throat, started to speak.

Tony's hand relaxed its grip and pushed up along the short hair at the back of Jethro's neck. Jethro unconsciously leaned back into the touch and Tony latched on to his mouth. Soft and sweet. He let all of his trust show in that kiss. He drew Jethro's lips toward him, moved slowly back and forth, tilting his head and drawing the other man out.

"Feels too good to stop." He murmured, against Gibbs' mouth. For he was, in that moment, not Jethro, his lover, but Gibbs, the man he looked up to, followed, and now called home. And he didn't mean just the kiss. He meant everything.

Jethro pulled back and looked at Tony, just looked. His hand drifted up to cup Tony's face and his thumb made gentle circles on the rough edge of his lover's jaw. Gibbs was the master of the stare, of never blinking. That wasn't new. But this, this was something else. He wasn't just looking at Tony, he was allowing himself to be seen. His face was so open that it appeared expressionless, and Tony was stunned by the amount of trust the other man was displaying.

Swallowing, hard, Tony spoke, not sure if he was doing the right thing or not. "Let's take another shower. Probably easier than trying to wash up, huh?"

Jethro coughed, clearing his throat, and nodded, a little half smile playing across his lips. "Okay." He dropped his hands to hike up his pants, zip up, while Tony wiped his hands on the discarded towel, tossing it on the floor when he was done. In one smooth movement, Gibbs pulled his T-shirt over his head and used it to wipe up. The shirt landed near the towel.

Jethro started for the door, paused, turned back for Tony. Tony joined him, reached out, and Jethro took his hand, blue eyes hesitant but determined. He glanced down once and then threaded his fingers with Tony's.

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